Emotional Overeating Awareness Month

Do you eat when you’re anxious? Does food make you feel better? If so, you may have been conditioned to turn to food for comfort. April is Emotional Overeating Awareness Month.

For many people, eating is something to do when you’re bored, tired, anxious or dealing with emotions. Often these behaviors can lead to overeating. But eating to cope with emotions can lead to more negative feelings (guilt, lack of personal control and poor self esteem) and perhaps to a cycle of mood-triggered eating.

Some studies show that the incidence of emotional eating is increasing, possibly because we lead more hectic and stressful lives than ever before. Emotional Overeating Awareness Month offers an opportunity to initiate a conversation that some people find uncomfortable to start themselves. These FREE resources from RD411 may help:

If you would like to receive a FREE tip a day during Emotional Overeating Awareness Month to help you reduce or stop emotional overeating, visit Dr. Denise’s blog to sign up: http://emotionalovereatingawareness.com/

Want to learn more?

Emotional Overeating: Practical Management Techniques

Emotional Overeating - 4 Hour CE Course

Among the factors contributing to our struggle to stop tipping the scales is the component of “emotional eating” – or the use of food to attempt to fill emotional needs.

This 4-credit-hour online continuing education course presents information about the causes of emotional eating and provides suggestions for activities based in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy that can help to raise awareness and assist in changing the addictive pattern.

Statistics confirm that Americans are an increasingly overweight population. According to an Associated Press article published in the Los Angeles Daily News, on September 23, 2010, “the ranks of the overweight have swelled to nearly 70 percent in the US this year . . .” And, “in ten years, a full 75 percent of Americans will be overweight” – statistics which correlate with a study led by a Johns Hopkins University researcher published in the journal, Obesity (Wang et al, 2008), which projected that “about 86 percent of US adults would be overweight or obese by 2030 if current trends continue.” http://www.dailynews.com/ci_16157886?source=most_emailed (retrieved January 4, 2011).

Among the factors contributing to our struggle to stop tipping the scales is the component of “emotional eating” – or the use of food to attempt to fill emotional needs. Professionals in both the physical and emotional health fields encounter patients with emotional eating problems on a regular basis. Even clients who do not carry this as their presenting problem often have it on their list of unhealthy behaviors that contribute to or are intertwined with their priority concerns. While not an easy task, it is possible to learn methods for dismantling emotional eating habits.

Lisa M. Schab, MSW, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Libertyville, Illinois. A graduate of Loyola University School of Social Work, Ms. Schab has specialized in anxiety and depression, blended families, and the treatment and prevention of eating problems and disorders. She has presented a number of professional training seminars and is the author of several books and continuing education courses, among them:
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